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I'm craving red text right now. Someone to tell me whether my… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[Mar. 28th, 2005|09:20 am]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |stressedstressed]

I'm craving red text right now. Someone to tell me whether my language is too formal, if the characters are interesting, if the plot is moving, if the main character actually has any resemblance to a male... but I really feel like I should finish the first draft, first. Sometimes this seems like it's going so slow - a few thousand words here, a few thousand words there, and by the end of a little over a month of writing, I'll have a fifth of a full length novel. The problem is, I'm wondering whether this is really suited for a full length novel, whether it might be better to just stop at around 50,000 words. If I don't overrush the plot, I'll land around there, I think. Maybe I won't even get that far.

So I'm beginning to toss ideas around in my head for side plotlines to weave into the story. Of course, at this point they'll seem hacked in, but I can go back and fix that during editing. I already have one candidate for a plotline which I can definitely fit in pretty easily, and it wouldn't feel hacked, but I don't know how much it'll add to the story. I have a theme for this story, and I don't know whether the side plotlines I'm considering will fit it, and even whether they should or not. Would I be distracting from the main message if I went off and followed other things? If I don't distract from it, will I be smacking the reader with a moral hammer? (I doubt the second with respect to the message - I'm actually really hoping that people don't misconstrue what I'm trying to get across. That doesn't mean that it won't be boring, but I don't think it'll read like a lecture.)

Writing is hard. It's nice when the words are flowing, or if you don't care whether it's good or not. But trying to pound out 100,000 words of good, solid prose, with characterization and plot and description and dialogue, twists and turns, something someone will want to read... that's really hard. Part of the sad thing is that I could be writing fanfiction, and writing absolute crap, and be heralded as a 'great author' or something (by fans, at least). I'd also be running the risk of being put up on ficbitches or one of lisefrac's sites (well, perhaps not so likely the second, since I don't write for Hellsing or One Piece), but I'd probably get recognition if I was prolific enough.

The other thing is, what am I going to do when I'm finished with this? Publish it? I'm not sure anyone would accept it. It's fantasy, I guess, but I'm not sure it really fits the genre well. Do I want to try? Should I publish it online? Do vanity publishing? I like my job, so it's not like I'm craving being a professional author, but there's a stamp of approval that goes with having been published, something that says 'I don't write crap, because these people thought that this would sell.' I'd also need to get permission from a certain someone before I could send it off for publishing.

And of course, if it doesn't sell, they'll never accept a manuscript under the same pen name again, but, uh, leaving that aside.

Off to work. I expect to be able to code today. It's been awhile since I was last able to do that. This makes me happy. Code code code.

[User Picture]From: harinezumi
2005-03-28 07:06 pm (UTC)
If you ever feel ready for some red text, give me a ping. Now that I'm done with ketsugami's Shinigami, my inner critic/editor is calling for fresh blood ^^
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[User Picture]From: ketsugami
2005-03-28 07:21 pm (UTC)
Likewise, I'm happy to look at stuff! Let me know if/when you want opinions on it.

As for writing being hard -- yes it is. But it's really worth it in the end -- when you've got something finished, and you can look at it a year later and think, "Man, that was pretty good!"

Always remember that editing is an integral part of writing. I hate doing editing, but somehow keeping that in mind makes the actual writing easier, because once you internalize the idea that you'll have to edit there's not as much pressure to get everything perfect the first time.

As for the publishing, I'd say go for it once you have something you're happy with. It costs you nothing except postage and a little time, and the potential gains are pretty high. Remember that:

1) If you send something in, and it gets rejected, nobody will remember your pen name or care that you submitted before if you end up submitting a revised version. Rejections are done by underpaid interns who read enormous piles of manuscripts. So it's not like you've got one chance to submit, and you could blow it.

2) If you get accepted, chances are it'll sell reasonably well, provided your publishing company is reputable. That's not saying it'll be a huge hit, but publishing companies are in business to make money, and they do that by selling out print runs. So they wouldn't accept you if they didn't think it'd sell.

3) Even if you get published, and it doesn't sell somehow, the worst that happens is you have to submit to a different publishing house. And an author with one mediocre-sales book behind them is still a huge cut above someone with nothing being them.

That's all just based on my experience, of course, and on advice I recieved. But those are my thoughts...
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2005-03-28 07:43 pm (UTC)
If you're still working on that Project That Must Not Be Named, wasn't it orginally intended to be a short story as opposed to a full-length novel? Not that I have anything against full-length novels, but you were saying something about wanting to write a story that's easily finishable :P
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